Naturally N'Awlins: Set your clock by the Metairie duck lady
METAIRIE, La. – As the sun sets on another day, there's a gathering along a Metairie canal bank at Bonnabel and West Esplanade.
The ducks, ibis and egrets are all there, waiting for Elise Beron. At about 4:30 p.m., like clockwork, she arrives. While she waits at a traffic light for it to change, the birds walk toward her car.
When she turns left, so do they, conditioned, as they are, that she has food.
She started feeding the ducks with her granddaughter at City Park. The granddaughter eventually outgrew it, but Elise continued on.
She's been feeding the ducks everyday for 23 years – 4:30 p.m. in the winter, 5:30 p.m. in the summer. She's only missed feeding them one time, when she evacuated for Katrina. Her neighbor let her know that she had been missed, telling her the ducks have been coming every day.
Elise decided then that virtually nothing would keep her from popping open her trunk and throwing out handfuls of corn. Her children are grown and the ducks are her children now.
She loves it, the ducks love it, and she's not about to let them down anytime soon.
"I'll be there tomorrow, and the day after and any day I'm able," she said.
And because of that, she's Naturally N'Awlins.